Throw-Back Thursday: “Change Is Coming to Louisville’s Portland Neighborhood…”

Okay– we’re just about an hour shy of Thursday, but it’s been a long day and I’m not even sure the huge “trenta-sized” green tea will be enough to keep up until then; thus, I’m #throwbackthursday-ing now.

I’m going through some edits on a piece about The Portland Arts and Heritage Fair here in Louisville, and I thought of this article I had done earlier this summer.

Long story short, “Louisville’s Portland neighborhood is starting to look like the new NuLu—the next previously-overlooked historic Louisville neighborhood ripe for redevelopment and preservation.

Real estate developers are buying old buildings to renovate. Artists, galleries, chic restaurants and creative class nonprofits are moving in. And some current residents and community activists are concerned that the historical and architectural character of Portland is worth more to developers than the human character of the historically working-class neighborhood.” 

I was drawn to writing about Portland because it took the social issue of gentrification– and its potential negative ramifications like population displacement, loss of historical character, etc.– and made it real. Talking to original residents of the neighborhood was simultaneously heart-warming and heart-breaking. However, talking to urban development specialists and real-estate developers was really enlightening, as were discussions with some of the new neighbors. It was a complex topic– lots of sides– which ultimately made it really rewarding to write.

You can check out the full piece here at WFPL.org . And keep an eye out this Friday for the piece about the neighborhood’s very first arts festival!

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